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IFC, Georgian Stock Exchange, and UN Women “Ring the Bell” for Gender Equality in Tbilisi


In Tbilisi:
Tamar Barbakadze, IFC                

Phone: +995 32 223 43 00/01/02

E-mail: tbarbakadze@ifc.org


Gvantsa Asatiani, UN Women

Phone: +995 591 517 371

E-mail:
gvantsa.asatiani@unwomen.org

Salome Giorgadze, GSE

Phone: +995 577 509 509

E-mail:
sgiorgadze@gse.ge


Tbilisi, Georgia, March 12, 2019—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Georgian Stock Exchange and UN Women hosted a “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event today in Tbilisi—an initiative linked with International Women’s Day that promotes increased women’s participation in the global economy to catalyze sustainable and inclusive private sector growth.  

Accelerating the pace of reforms to ensure gender equality could yield enormous benefits, with the potential to increase global gross domestic product (GDP) by $12 trillion in the next six years, according to a McKinsey Global Institute report. With gender equality, Georgia could experience economic gains equivalent to around 11 percent of GDP, according to the World Bank.

Despite Georgia’s significant strides in creating an enabling environment for gender equality, these measures have not translated into overall progress in international rankings. In the World Economic Forum
Global Gender Gap Report 2018, Georgia ranked 85 among 149 countries for parity in economic participation and opportunity.

George Paresishvili, CEO, Georgian Stock Exchange, said: “At the nexus of company and investor interaction, a stock exchange is uniquely positioned to influence capital markets to progress in closing the gender gap. We are committed to continuing our work to achieve tangible results in this direction.”

“Economically, women in Georgia are not yet on an equal footing with men,” said Tamar Sabedashvili, Deputy Country Representative for UN Women. “To achieve gender equality, we need to see not only government action but strong private sector involvement. It’s encouraging to see more and more companies taking steps to help empower women in the workplace.”

“Increasing the participation of women as entrepreneurs, employees and business leaders is not only a moral imperative but a smart business strategy,” said Jan van Bilsen, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus. “Research has highlighted that correcting gender imbalances could lead to important economic gains. Today’s event in Tbilisi is a clear sign of our joint commitment to help breach the gender gap and push for change.”

The event was held to jointly support Georgia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 5 on Gender Equality. The recently adopted corporate governance code for commercial banks requiring that at least 20 percent of supervisory board members are women was one of the key issues discussed. The event was also supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which introduced its quota law in 2007 requiring boards of listed companies to comprise at least 40 percent women.

The “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event is a global partnership of IFC, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (SSE), UN Global Compact, UN Women, Women in ETFs, and the World Federation of Exchanges. In 2019, the events are held for the fifth consecutive year to raise awareness about the business case for women’s economic empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender equality.

Ring the Bell for Gender Equality encourages participating stock exchanges to signal their commitment to gender equality by advocating for better gender balance and prioritizing diversity in their own corporate structures. At stock exchanges and companies, some of the recommended actions include signing the CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs); implementing women-friendly workplace policies; developing gender equality -themed investment products; and reporting to shareholders on diversity practices.


About IFC

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY18, we delivered $23.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visi
t www.ifc.org

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About United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to implement these standards. Learn more at:
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About Georgian Stock Exchange

Georgian Stock Exchange (GSE) is the only functioning organized securities market in Georgia. Established and designed with the help of USAID and operating within the legal framework drafted with the assistance of American experts, GSE complies with global best practices in securities trading and offers an efficient investment facility to both local and foreign investors.
Automated trading system of GSE can accommodate thousands of securities that may be traded by brokers from the workstations at the GSE floor or remotely from their offices. For more information, visit www.gse.ge

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